HA NOI, Viet Nam, 28 October 2020 – Storm Molave, which today battered Viet Nam’s central coastal region, is one of the strongest storms to hit the country in 20 years, according to the country’s meteorological agency. Molave struck areas and populations already suffering from cascading flood events and has added new areas to the list of communities facing emergencies. The storm is causing extreme rainfall in the region and is predicted to continue over the coming days, worsening the already precarious situation faced by many families.
A rapid assessment of existing flooded regions, conducted at the end of last week, identified 1.5 million children at risk and this latest storm escalates the numbers at risk to well over 2.5 million children. For the affected populations, their homes remain severely damaged, their food stocks have been lost, they have no access to clean water for drinking, washing and cooking; and water and sanitation systems have been damaged. Many people have been moved to evacuation centres, that have also been impacted by floods, resulting in difficult health and hygiene conditions for the displaced population, primarily women, children and the elderly. Added to this is the trauma of the violent storms and rushing waters, that for a population where many cannot swim, creates fear and impacts mental wellbeing.
Many schools across this entire central region have been closed for the past weeks, resulting in the loss of precious learning time, a situation already constrained by COVID-19. Health centres have also been damaged, and women and children are unable to access basic health care services.
Our thoughts are with those affected. UNICEF has mobilized to provide emergency water, nutrition, sanitation, education and protection support and is coordinating with the Government and other humanitarian agencies to reach the most vulnerable and affected.
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